Enemies of Liberty are ruthless. To own your Liberty, you'd better come harder than your enemies..

Thursday, October 3, 2013

III Jeep Project

There is much territory to cover between now and the time I get busy setting up the Jeep for its proper role.  What I call our "Shakedown Cruise" went pretty well.  The truck was sold brand new in Iowa, lived it's entire life in the same town, averaged 6,400 miles each year, and was never abused.  Holly and I have put a bit over 4,000 miles on it sin the last 5-6 weeks.  We are averaging 20.5-23 mpg highway (which blew my mind, because the original EPA rating was for 18 highway, and we are loaded down with an extra 1,000 pounds of gear, Akita's, etc.)  We had the 4psi radiator cap issue that has been resolved.  One of the Goodyear tires separated, and the kid we bought the truck from used rims that were not quite right for the Jeep, so we currently have a mishmash of rubber - no biggie, 4 ply tires don't live long in Idaho, so we planned on going to 8 ply anyway - we just would have preferred doing it on our schedule.  We'll get a package with rims at the same time, and proper spare.

Anyway, when I get around to outfitting and modifying this Jeep for its intended role, would it be at all interesting for you folks to see what we do, why, how, and so forth?  I am no gearhead - the thrust of the posts would be outfitting the truck to be a III capable machine.  I'm a Warn guy, so everything we upgrade would be Warn.  I have no idea if we'll do anything like changing axles, et cetera - that's where I'll need advice from you guys who know what you are talking about.  I'm certainly not going to do a lift kit, and I'll probably even go down in tire size closer to OEM.  (the kid who put on the Goodyear's went to P235s).   I've owned 4x4's since I was able to drive, always Jeep or Chevy, and I can change tranny's, transfer cases, even engines if it is a straight swap - but that's monkey-see, monkey-do.  I make no claims to having any real automotive skills, especially diagnostic skills.

I'd probably set it up on its own blog just to keep things neat and tidy, but maybe it would be a useful ongoing topic of who is choosing what rig, how they are outfitting, why, and so forth. 

Any interest?



  1. My '96 Cherokee 4.0 HO 4 door has a 2.5" lift, 31x10.50 all terrains, otherwise stock (3.42:1 gear ratio, open differentials), and still gets pretty good MPG. 18-20. More than 2.5" lift and you'll need to put a CV joint on the rear drive shaft. The front already has one.

    My Jeep does great in the sand on the beach, hardly ever need 4WD. Snow would be similar. Ice, of course, is a whole other ball game.

    Warn makes good products. Had a set of manual locking hubs from them, which I abused horribly on my old K-5 Blazer in the Mississippi gumbo mud back when I was in the Navy. Their winches are excellent.

    I would recommend a 2.5" lift and larger tires. I had a stock Cherokee years ago, and the off road performance between that one and my current Jeep is night and day. The on road performance does not suffer much. In fact, the stock Jeep got bucked around on the highway a whole lot more than my lifted Cherokee. My 2 cents worth...

  2. Kerodin,


    I would keep the Jeep simple and stupid. Add tires and maintain it. Maybe add a decent winch.
    I spend a lot of time on the beaches in Texas and its amazing how many fancy four by four's get stuck in beach sand and my two wheel drive 1990 Toyota truck with a four cylinder engine never gets stuck.

    Im on my third Toyota truck now, the old ones are the best. I just maintain them and I don't abuse them and they run forever and the 22RE four cylinder engine is good for 500.000 miles.
    That jeep of yours Kerodin has one of the last, best American engines made. The inline six cylinder. I heard many stories of 300.000 miles easy on that engine and the engine outlasting the transmissions.
    That Jeep is a keeper, just keep it simple. I would even trade the rims in for factory rims with 8 ply tires. If things fell apart and you have a flat tire and you found the same Jeep somewhere in a Junk Yard, you could just swap wheels out and be back on the road really quick. If you toss a bunch if aftermarket stuff on the Jeep. It could come back to haunt you if you cant find the parts later down the road.
    If your also driving a "plain Jane" Jeep, your less likely to stand out in the crowd and attract "unwanted attention" from LEO's looking for easy prey.

  3. Sure, why not
    I have been a mechanic for thirty years and will be the first to admit I don't know as much as I would like or probably should.
    Shade tree, and then Ford factory trained, I have worked on things I can't even remember.From two stroke weed eaters to 100 ton cranes and everything you can imagine in between.
    I would still be interested in seeing this thing evolve and to see other peoples opinions who know Jeeps because I don't know them that well.

    It would be a learning experience for me also.
    I like free education opportunities. ;)

  4. Yes I would be interested in the jeep project...Check this place out.
    They also sell OEM parts to. You have to at-least put a 3" lift on, at-least.

  5. A tire suggestion.....get Toyo M-55's. Best all around tire there is. I've been running them for over 20 years.


  6. Looks to be an earlier model, older than 95. Six cylinder engine. The ones with the pressurized coolant overflow are a bit tempermental. If it seems like it is cutting out very occasionally, replace the coil. I drove mine at 55 MPH and routinely got 22-24 MPG. Axles, if there is a rubber plug in the rear diff, it is a Dana 35. Otherwise it is either a Dana 44 or Dodge rear end. Plan on frequent rebuilds of a Dana 35 (mine was rebuilt 4 times in 240K miles). The front is a Dana 30, they are OK.

  7. The separate blog sounds like a good idea. As for the upgrades, aside from the tire issues, if your mileage is that good, the only suggestions I would offer is to install a cold air intake and headers with a new exhaust system. Doing that may cause the mileage to drop a little, but the engine will breathe better, so the torque curve may improve. And the mileage could actually increase a little from the improved airflow, there's no way to prove that before the changes. Changing the axle ratios would have a negative effect on overall performance, unless you want to go rock crawling, so I'd skip that.

  8. I for one would be interested, my bug-out vehicle project is a ’91 Toyota 4x4, planning on swaping out to a diesel power plant, for all the obvious reasons, could be an interesting and informative forum.
    Rd III

    1. Right on...no telling how much a diesel-powered EMP-proof vehicle might be worth, especially after an EMP. Even now, that sounds mighty sweet.

      Who's doin' the gasifiers?

  9. livefreeordieca,


    I had a '91 Toyota truck and now I have a '90. Both two wheel drive with the 22RE. I looked at the video's for a diesel conversion. Unless I could score a 1990 Toyota Hilux diesel engine from overseas somehow, I think I would be more advantageous to invest in a First Generation Dodge Diesel the the 12 valve Cummins.
    The parts are easier to find for the Cummins and their are lots of first gen' Dodge trucks out there still on the road.
    I plan to keep my Toyota for light loads and use the First Gen Dodge diesel for heavy hauling and four by four use.

    1. c/o Jim & captaincrunch,
      Thanks for the input from you both, I’ve been doing the research on this project for almost a year now, just met a mechanic tonight at a Tribe meeting who had some good info as well, the Hilux is my first choice, but there are other options as well, I guess we’ll just have to keep the pressure on Sam to create the III Bug Out Vehicle Blog so we can keep the conversation going, He’s not too busy to do that, is he? ;)
      Richard R Deaver

  10. Hello,

    Having grown up in a Chevy household, I'm illiterate when it comes to Chrysler products and as such, I have been looking for a secondary vehicle for the winter and hauling things around (Lumber, tools, etc.) what makes this Jeep bulletproof? Are there any other years/models that are in the same category? I don't have a lot of money to part with, that's why I'm asking. Cheers.


Please post anonymously. III Society members, please use your Call Sign.